Why Getting Real Isn’t Enough

I’m a big fan of 37signals, and their book Getting Real. I read it online, and still bought the downloadable PDF because I love it so much. I agree with most of what they say, there’s not much I would change about that book.

But they left something out.

Yes, you have to launch quickly. Yes, you should work out your UI before you start coding. And yes, you want to trim your feature list until you’re left with only the stuff that truly matters.

But then…

Add something cool to your product.

Add a small feature that makes it fun to use. Or implement one of the existing features in a fun and unique way. If you want people to use it and give you feedback, this is critical. If you have a barebones todo list manager, who cares? Give people a reason to use it. Give them something to talk about.

It’s fine if you leave out some features people view as critical. Just make sure you’ve got some sort of hook. It makes marketing so much easier. Plus, gets people excited thinking about the possibilities.

Exciting or fun features don’t have to be crazy time consuming. Just adding CKEditor to a textbox might do it. Or maybe exporting to PDF, or GoogleDocs. There are libraries and plugins that make all of this stuff easy nowadays. Take advantage of them.

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